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Mad2, Bub3 and Mps1 regulate chromosome segregation and mitotic synchrony in Giardia intestinalis, a binucleate protist lacking an Anaphase Promoting Complex.


The binucleate pathogen Giardia intestinalis is a highly divergent eukaryote with a semiopen mitosis, lacking an anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) and many of the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC) proteins. However, Giardia has some MCC components (Bub3, Mad2, and Mps1) and proteins from the cohesin system (Smc1 and Smc3). Mad2 localizes to the cytoplasm, but Bub3 and Mps1 are either located on chromosomes or in the cytoplasm, depending on the cell cycle stage. Depletion of Bub3, Mad2, or Mps1 resulted in a lowered mitotic index, errors in chromosome segregation (including lagging chromosomes), and abnormalities in spindle morphology. During interphase, MCC knockdown cells have an abnormal number of nuclei, either one nucleus usually on the left-hand side of the cell or two nuclei with one mislocalized. These results suggest that the minimal set of MCC proteins in Giardia play a major role in regulating many aspects of mitosis, including chromosome segregation, coordination of mitosis between the two nuclei, and subsequent nuclear positioning. The critical importance of MCC proteins in an organism that lacks their canonical target, the APC/C, suggests a broader role for these proteins and hints at new pathways to be discovered.

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